IN FOCUS

Guard play is key to division races

The Burlington County League has produced some of South Jersey's best interior players in recent years, but this season it appears that the division races will be determined by backcourt play.

Willingboro's Jasmine Rich, a speedy 5-foot-6 senior point guard, averaged 10.7 points for last season's Group 3 state champion Chimeras. Rich and her mates will knock heads in the Liberty Division with senior Lakeisha Sutton - who leads an impressive list of returnees at Trenton Catholic - where she produced 13 points, 9 rebounds and 5.3 assists for a team that captured the 2007 Non-Public B state crown.

Group 1 state runner-up Palmyra will go as far as juniors Lakiya Artis (17.8 points, 5.6 assists) and Javon Pratt (7.9 points, 6.8 rebounds) can lead them in the Freedom Division, which also features steady hands in Riverside junior Erin DiMiero, New Egypt senior Emily Straniero, and Florence senior Jessica Foulks.

Patriot Division favorite Holy Cross will put a lot of faith in senior point guard Michelle Lubrano, who scored just under 12 points per game last season and is the team's most potent three-point shooter. Other veteran guards in the division include Cinnaminson's Colleen Gannon, Delran's Kate Simmons, and Bordentown sniper Samantha Cobbs.

- Pete Schnatz